Saturday, May 19, 2012

Looking for Mr. (or Miss) Right? 5 C's to Consider

There are many essential traits to look for in a date, and eventually a life partner. Here are five traits to consider: Christian, Communication, Character, Chemistry, and Calling.

1. If you are a Christ-follower you will want to date and marry a Christian--someone who has a committed walk with God, has accepted Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord, and is on a path of growth and discovery. He or she is not perfect, but their heart is seeking truth and wisdom.

What else does that mean for you? Do you want someone who will attend church with you every Sunday?  Do you want to pray together as a couple? Think about how you want to live out your spiritual life with another person.

2. Communication is key to any good relationship. It’s talking and listening, building rapport and intimacy, sharing and more. What kind of communication important to you in a relationship? Are you comfortable going deep in conversation, or do you prefer to stay in the shallow end? What is “good communication” to you? 

I remember a dreadful date with a man who did not talk to me almost the entire time we were together. Ron was a man from church with whom I’d spoken a few times. We had mutual friends and saw each other at singles events. One Sunday afternoon we drove to Green Bay for a Packers football game and he was completely silent throughout the entire game—including halftime! Even the long, soundless drive home was awful. I told myself that day that I needed a man who would not only talk with me but be a good communicator.

3. Character refers to his temperament, personality and moral fiber. Does he have integrity? Does his keep his promises, say what he means and mean what he says? How do your personalities mesh?  Do you have temperaments that are complementary?

4. Chemistry is another word for attraction. Is he handsome in your eyes? Does he have qualities that appeal to you? Is there that intangible “certain something” that makes you click as a couple?  Of course, chemistry and attraction are important in a relationship, but don’t let your feelings dictate your choices based only upon someone’s looks.

True beauty is more than a perfect smile or fit body. It’s both inner and outer qualities, and how that person makes you feel.  Additionally, chemistry is just one of the essential five C’s for a healthy and fulfilling match, one piece of the entire love puzzle. 

5. Calling is the term I’ll use here for God’s vision for your relationship. Is it right for the long term? Has God called you to marriage with this man to be his life partner? You can have all four of the five C’s, but if the “C” of Calling is not there, it will never work.

Finally, before you date someone—whether you meet on the Internet or at the office—make sure he is not married. Seriously. Don’t rely on him wearing a ring. 

Josh had the kind of captivating blue eyes you could dive into and swim laps in for hours. He was a new client at our firm and always stopped by my desk to say hello and chat briefly.  Of course, he always had something interesting to say and often I could only eek out pleasantries while I tried to remember my name.

His left-hand ring finger was bare; a good sign. No glint of a gold wedding band to be seen. Since there wasn’t a man in my life at the time, I had fun daydreaming about him. It was just for amusement, I told myself. Until the day I learned he was married. Married!  Yep. To the same woman for twenty years. Oh, and they have a bunch of kids. How in the world was that possible?  I mean, he never wore a ring and he was so nice. I was shocked, and surprisingly a bit hurt. I know I shouldn’t have been, but Daydream Man was gone. Who would I think about now? 

It was time to clear my heart and head of even the smallest inklings of desire for this person and get back to what I really wanted—a lasting love with someone who was truly available--God's best choice for me.

Your day will come. One step at a time, one choice at a time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

After a Breakup: Reflections on Rejection

No matter how hard someone tries to carefully choose their words as they are giving you the relationship send-off, rejection hurts.

Even if you only went out a few times the sting of feeling like a dating discard can send you into a what-is-wrong-with-me spiral. When a man says, “I’ll call you,” you want to take him at his word. But sometimes I wonder if people actually mean what they say with that phrase, or if it’s just filler, like a casual “See you later.” Countless women have shared the same story of having an amazing time on a date and at the end of the night those three little words come out of a man’s mouth and the woman doesn’t know what to think. Until he doesn’t call.

Whether you were together two weeks or two years, being rejected can leave you feeling unwanted, insecure, or “less than.”  Now you’re excluded from his life, and maybe from his friends, mutual friends, or his family. Somehow it doesn’t seem right that you lose this whole other community because you two are no longer together.

When you feel rejected, it’s important to remember that there’s “what happened” and “what you tell yourself” about what happened. Often, he is not rejecting you as a person, but making a choice on what is the best fit for him (just as you make a choice on what’s the best fit for you).

Not being chosen doesn’t mean you’re not acceptable. You are still worthy and wonderful whether the other person realizes it or not.  You may not feel very wonderful right now, but don’t let what someone else thinks erode your sense of self. 

Besides he may have his own issues to deal with too.  When he says, “It’s not you, it’s me” you may want to believe him. On the other hand, you may have things in your own life you want to change, like attitudes, beliefs or actions that are preventing you from lasting love.  It’s worth praying about and exploring how you can become your best self whether you are in a relationship or not.

No matter who initiated the breakup, you will always be significant and important in the eyes of the One who loves you most. Keep reminding yourself of the truth, because truth combats lies like light combats darkness. You matter to God, and He has unending love for you. You are the apple of his eye. He chose you. You are accepted in the Beloved.

You are enough, and you are worth being loved well.

Truly, your love life matters to God. He is still in control and He is leading you on a path to good purposes. Your new day will come. Keep on believing.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Single Woman's Proverbs 31 for Today

A woman of noble character who can find?
  She is worth far more than diamonds. 
Her friends and family have full confidence in her
  and she lacks nothing of value. 
She brings them good, not harm, all the days of her life. 
  She selects produce from Whole Foods
and works with eager hands. She finds good deals. 
She gets up while it is still dark and works out at the gym.
  She considers a condo and buys it; out of her earnings she
plants a colorful garden in the backyard. 
  She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She sees that her hard work is profitable. 
  In her hand she holds the telephone as she emails
and multi-tasks.  But she knows the value of true rest.
 She is compassionate and opens her arms
  to the poor and needy. 
When it snows, she has no fear, 
  for her SUV has 4-wheel drive. 
She decorates her home tastefully;
  she is clothed in J. Jill and purple. 
 Her husband-to-be is someone she continually prays for,
  that he will be a man of integrity, love and honor,
respected wherever he goes. 
She is clothed with strength and dignity. She has a great
  sense of humor, and can laugh at the days to come. 
She speaks with wisdom, lives life faithful. She watches over
  the affairs of her own life, and doesn't sit around idly. 
Her children-to-be are a gleam in her twinkling eyes, and
  she prays that one day they will call her blessed.
She prays that one day her husband will love and respect her. 
  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who
  fears the LORD is to be praised. 
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works
  bring her praise wherever she goes.